Yu Hong leaves her home village and starts university in Beijing, where she develops a consuming and compulsive relationship with another student. The student riots from 1989 then ensue and take a toll on their lives.
The river Suzhou that flows through Shanghai is a reservoir of filth, chaos and poverty, but also a meeting place for memories and secrets. Lou Ye, who spent his youth on the banks of the ... See full summary »
Hired to spy on a philandering husband, Luo Haitao soon becomes entangled in a clandestine affair with the other man. Along with Luo's girlfriend, they succumb to the delirium of drunken nights, but how long can their tryst last?
Lu Jie is having coffee with her desperate friend Sang Qi, who believes her husband is cheating on her. At the same time at a hotel across the road from the coffee shop, Lu Jie sees her ... See full summary »
Ding Hui is a member of Purple Butterfly, a powerful resistance group in Japanese occupied Shanghai. An unexpected encounter reunites her with Itami, an ex-lover... and officer with a ... See full summary »
Two Chinese coal miners have hit upon the perfect scam: murder one of their fellow mine workers, make the death look like an accident, and extort money from the boss to keep the incident ... See full summary »
Liyan and Yuwen live in post-war torpor, childless but with Liyan's school-aged sister. He coughs, imagining he has TB; Yuwan embroiders; they sleep in separate rooms. A surprise visit from... See full summary »
Little pocket thief Wu never got away from the streets like his friends did. He realises that he is alone, as his old buddy doesn't invite him for his wedding. When he falls in love with a ... See full summary »
Young teen girl Xiu Xiu is sent away to a remote corner of the Sichuan steppes for manual labor in 1975 (sending young people to there was a part of Cultural Revolution in China). A year ... See full summary »
A town in Fengjie county is gradually being demolished and flooded to make way for the Three Gorges Dam. A man and woman visit the town to locate their estranged spouses, and become witness to the societal changes.
Country girl Yu Hong leaves her village, her family and her lover to study in Beijing. At university, she discovers an intense world of sexual freedom and forbidden pleasure. Enraptured, compulsive, she falls madly in love with fellow student Zhou Wei. Driven by obsessive passions they can neither understand nor control, their relationship becomes one of dangerous games - betrayals, recriminations, provocations - as all around them, their fellow students begin to demonstrate, demanding democracy and freedom. Protests collapse, and Yu and Zhou lose each other amidst the social chaos and panicked crowds. Zhou Wei is sent to a summer military camp, and on his release moves to Berlin, fleeing both his country and memories of Yu. She finds a job, a lover, but can not forget Zhou. In Germany, social unrest is mounting: calls for freedom, demonstrations for democracy. A familiar story for Zhou. Weary, still haunted by Yu, he returns to China as the Berlin Wall crashes down. He finds her at ... Written by
Was the only Asian film selected to compete for the Palme d'Or in 2006. See more »
The fashionable clothing worn by characters Yu Hong and Zhou Wei throughout their scenes as university students simply did not exist in China at this time nor for at least another decade. Mainland Chinese students circa the 1980s would have worn nondescript, non-branded attire rather than the high-heels, hipster track suits, designer dresses and sexy lingerie worn by the actors and actresses in Summer Palace. See more »
I thought this film was a fascinating portrait of Chinese youth and culture, as they struggle through some astoundingly turbulent times. Coming into maturity while defining love, commitment, and one's self is a challenging part of any youth's life, but all the more so as part of a society that is struggling through the same challenges itself. I found interesting analogies of the Chinese village in the character of Yu Huong, and the big city in Zhou Wei. Somewhere around college age, we all attempt to define what is important to us and explore what we can do, can be, and want. Some of that experience is sorting through our history - family, village, cultural - and deciding what we want to carry forward and embrace, and what to rebel against and discard, and I believe that this film paints a lovely, if gritty, portrayal of modern China doing just that. In their dorm rooms, in the bars and restaurants, in their homes, in their hearts. On the one hand, I would have, aesthetically, enjoyed a more sumptuous, smooth production; but that is not modern China. China (what admittedly little of it I've seen) is gritty, sweaty, crowded, noisy, straining, and that's what I see in this film.
5 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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